Like every season, and more importantly before the season starts, there are many questions surrounding a football team. This season is no different, as the necessity of replacing without diminishing is in full effect.
For the 8,568 fans in attendance of the annual spring game, there were plenty of offensive fireworks and defensive shutdowns.
The first firework: On the second play from scrimmage, senior leader and quarterback, Brett Rypien found super sophomore wide receiver Octavius Evans for a 58-yard reception. The pair then capped off a great drive a few plays later with a 12-yard touchdown strike.
First offensive drive: Octavius Evans 54 yard reception and touchdown
Posted by Bronco Nation News on Saturday, April 14, 2018
Evans wouldn’t stop there as he was a consistent producer all throughout the day. The sophomore added another highlight when fellow sophomore quarterback Chase Cord threw a 39-yard deep ball to him. Evans landed in the end zone for the second time. He finished with 5 receptions, 124 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns.
I really think Evans has a chance to be a redzone beast. pic.twitter.com/iZ7VWnOptj
— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) April 14, 2018
Fellow receiver, and now senior leader, A.J. Richardson made his mark as well.
The second firework: In the first quarter, Richardson caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Rypien. He later hooked up with Rypien again; this time from 30 yards out and right before halftime.
The senior receiver finished with 4 receptions and 117 yards.
The Last firework: Most of the scrimmage, in terms of the offense, was a wide receiver showcase. With names such as Evans and Richardson providing some spark in the first quarter, it was only fitting that fellow receiver C.T. Thomas got in on the action… and that he did!
In the 4th quarter, and the last play from scrimmage, C.T. got on the scoreboard. JUCO transfer red-shirt sophomore quarterback Brandon Bea hit Thomas for a 69-yard touchdown.
Thomas finished the day with four receptions, 89 yards, and a touchdown.
Other stats: One question coming into the spring game was the status of junior running back Alexander Mattison. It was noted he wouldn’t suit up for the game, thus it was up to the rest of the depth to contribute.
Sophomore Robert Mahone, senior Skyler Seibold, and redshirt freshman Drake Beasley combined for 18 carries and 58 yards.
Seibold also had a 6-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Skyler Seibold with the 6 yard rushing TD pic.twitter.com/WBXIwIUkeu
— Will Hall (@WillHallKTVB) April 14, 2018
The quarterback position was one to look at as well. Brett Rypien finished the day going 15-19 for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chase Cord went 7-10 for 67 yards and a score. Brandon Bea’s only stat was a 69 yard touchdown pass to C.T. Thomas.
Cord also had a lengthy touchdown run when he kept a read option:
— Boise State Broncos (@BroncoSports) April 14, 2018
The Bronco defense, all throughout the day, was sharp. The biggest stat line: the number 1 defense kept the number 2 offense scoreless until the final play of the day.
Shutdown Defense: Senior STUD Jabril Frazier had not one, but two sacks on the day. He sacked Chase Cord twice.
Tyler Horton added to the first team stat line when he picked off a Chase Cord pass near midfield.
All in all, the first team Boise State offense and defense combined for a 42-7 victory over the second team Broncos squad.
Key Hold Outs Provide Opportunity: Besides Alexander Mattison on the offensive side of the ball, the rest of the notable injuries were on defense.
Names such as Jordan Happle, Durant Miles, Chase Hatada, Riley Whimpey, Sam Whitney, and Evan Tyler were held out for precautionary reasons.
With Whimpey out, sophomore middle linebacker Benton Wickersham had most of the first team reps. These are the two names likely to replace the production of Leighton Vander Esch.
The story of the day, however, might have been the depth of the safety position.
The starters from last season, DeAndre Pierce and Kekoa Nawahine, played with the first team as expected. Kekaula Kaniho played some safety as well, but he typically flexes out to more of a nickel.
However, with names such as Happle and Tyler sidelined, the second team safety positions were wide open.
Receiving most of the second team reps were redshirt freshman Tyreque Jones and redshirt junior Damion Wright.
Here is a hit from Tyreque Jones:
Tyreque Jones (21) has been around the football today. He’s looked pretty darn good. Again, the depth at safety is real. Nawahine, Pierce, Kaniho, Jones, and Happle (who is sidelined today)… pic.twitter.com/DNhXpV7dl3
— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) April 14, 2018
With the completion of spring practices, the Broncos will now look to the summer. Summer and player led workouts will begin soon.
The team will then head into Fall camp sometime at the beginning of August.
Boise State’s first regular season game will be Saturday, September 1st, at Troy.